How to Remove Mastic from a Hardwood Floor

Removing mastic, old carpet pad, and cut back adhesive that is stuck on top of hardwood floors can be a daunting task. We believe that your best bet for removing these substances is to use a Mastic Removal Block attached to a buffer capable of handling a heavy duty job.

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One common method of removing mastic from hardwood would be to use a titanium plate with welded abrasive grit. The rough texture of the plate can remove substances off the hardwood floor. However, the surface of the titanium plate can cause heat to build up and cause the substances to become gummy and stick to the plate. When this happens, you’ll have to take off the titanium plate and clean it with solvents, which slows you down and becomes tedious.

Another method to remove the substances from a hardwood floor is to attack it with a belt/drum sander. The drawback to this method is that the sander can become covered in debris. This debris will cake on the wheels, top roller, dust scoop and on other parts of the sander, causing performance failure or significant damage to the sander itself. For obvious reasons, we strongly recommend that you don’t try this method.

The best solution we’ve found is a mastic removal block specifically formulated for use on hardwood floors. This particular block attaches straight to your buffer and gets the job done, clog-free. It has six 50 grit diamond-covered cutting blades that will not become caked with debris like the belt sander or titanium plate.

When you’re ready to use your mastic removal block, there are just a few guidelines you should follow:

1) Carefully inspect the floor for nails, screws, staples, and other foreign objects that could damage the mastic removal block.

2) Install the block and make the necessary adjustments to your buffer.

3) Dust collection systems are not recommended as the debris is too large to get passed most baffles used on  buffers set up with dust collection systems. For this tool, just sweep the area clear frequently to promote better cutting by the block.

4) During the process move the buffer in whichever direction works the best to remove the substances. It doesn’t matter if you go with or against the grain. The block will not damage the floor because it is specially made to work with wood floors. Click here to purchase a mastic removal block.

While you’re using the block, remember that it will be a time-intensive project. Slow down your pace and make sure you have completely removed all the mastic and other adhesives from the floor. You should get between 1000 and 1200 SF from a blade set.

If you have any questions about the mastic removal block or the process of removing mastic and other adhesives from hardwood flooring, you can contact City Floor Supply at (800) 737-1786. To purchase a mastic removal block and prepare yourself for the next time you have to deal with mastic on a hardwood floor, click here.

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2 thoughts on “How to Remove Mastic from a Hardwood Floor

  1. DIY'er

    My YouTube search and google search only left me with information on chemical solutions for removing mastic. when I called Philly Floor the person who answered the phone pointed me to these resources. This mastic/glue remover looks like a great mechanical solution. Thanks for the informative video and blog.

    1. dekwkg

      I bought and used this tool to remove heavy mastic on a maple floor (approx 950 sq. feet) in a commercial building. Worked great. Could not have removed the mastic without it. BUT realize that it takes time–approx two days in my case. The video makes it look like it only takes a few passes, but getting the last bit of mastic off takes numerous passes. Also found that once you get down to thin layers of mastic that it really helped to have a second worker actually press down on top of the floor buffer to give added pressure to remove the mastic.


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